By E. S. Venttsel'
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Extra info for An introduction to the theory of games
But the moment it is offered, we have the beginnings of an infinite regress as we ask the same question of how the agent knows the value of this second-order information. To prevent this infinite regress, we must be guided by something in addition to instrumental calculation. But this means that the paradigm of instrumentally rational choices is incomplete. e. the expected marginal benefits) because he or she knows the full information set. But then 21 GAME THEORY 22 AN OVERVIEW there is no problem of how much information to acquire because the person knows everything!
Surely, in loosely structured interactions (games) players often invent moves. And even when they do not, perhaps it is asking too much to assume that a person knows both how the moves combine to affect their own utility pay-offs and the pay-offs of other players. After all, our motives are not always transparent to ourselves, so how can they be transparent to others? There are several issues here. Game theory must concede that it is concerned with analysing interactions where the menu of possible actions for each player is known by everyone.
The distinction relates to whether agreements made between players are binding. Cooperative game theory assumes that such agreements are binding, whereas non-cooperative game theory does not. For the most part the distinction is waning because most sophisticated cooperative game theory is now based on a series of non-cooperative games for the simple reason that if we want to assume binding agreements we shall want to know what makes such agreements binding and this will require a non-cooperative approach.
An introduction to the theory of games by E. S. Venttsel'